Plus more European stocks making headlines in Tuesday's market
NATIONAL GRID Up GBP0.24 to GBP7.16... Sells Ravenswood for US$2.90bn Co. has agreed to sell its 2,480 megawatt Ravenswood Generating Station in New York City to TransCanada Corporation for a total cash consideration of US$2.9bn, payable upon completion of the sale. Subject to approvals, Co. expects to complete the sale by summer 2008.
UNILEVER Up GBP0.51 to GBP17.50... Deutsche Bank upgrades to buy from hold, with a target price of EUR 26, implying a 22% upside. Says the sahres have lagged the peer group in '08 but argues that operationally, Co. should be fully participating in the buoyant sales being reported elsewhere. Expects a strong rebound in 1Q (8 May) and raises earnings forecasts.
MITCHELLS & BUTLERS Up GBP0.15 to GBP3.58... Lukewarm reception to Permira offer - Co. is understood to have given a lukewarm reception to a proposal from Permira, the private equity group, offering to acquire a stake of up to 29.9% at a small premium to the current share price in return for board representation and a say in future strategy, The Times reports.
VODAFONE Up GBP0.03 to GBP1.54... SocGen lowers target to GBP1.35 from GBP1.60, to reflect lower forecasts and a 1150bp cut to operating FCF estimates due to rising capex.
PERNOD RICARD Up EUR 2.92 to EUR 68.08... Campari eyes Plymouth Gin - press - Campari could be interested in acquiring V&S's Plymouth Gin, according to the MF. The newspaper explains that Co. could sell the brand in order to fund the acquisition of V&S. ING cuts target to EUR 79 from EUR 82. Broker says V&S means a strategic move for a high price through which Co. creates market leadership. The assumed problems (US, Maxxium) are smaller than expected, while synergies might be larger. Keeps buy. Cheuvreux lifts target to EUR 86. Says a higher-than-expected price for V&S is offset by many positive elements. Sees 5% EPS accretion on average over the next four years. Keeps outperform.
PSA Up EUR 0.10 to EUR 49.21... French sales in March fall 7.8% to 70,432 vehicles sold.
UBI SOFT Up EUR 3.03 to EUR 57.60... Raises fiscal FY08 guidance/Cheuvreux ups tgt - Co. raises its fiscal FY08 sales forecast to EUR 920m from EUR 875m, previously. Raises 4Q sales forecast to EUR 210m from EUR 165m. Cheuvreux lifts target to EUR 60 from EUR 56 to reflect EPS estimates raised by 4% on average. Keeps underperform.
HEIDELDRUECK Down EUR 1.59 to EUR 15.42... Another profit warning (broker comments) - Co. said it won't reach the FY sales and EBIT guidance it gave on 8 February due to the difficult market environment. Citi downgrades to hold from buy, cutting the target to EUR 17.50 from EUR 20.00. For this and DZ Bank's comment, see Broker Views & News - Germany. Cheuvreux cuts target to EUR 14 from EUR 18, reiterating underperform. WestLB cuts target to EUR 12 from EUR 14.70, reiterating sell. Dresdner cuts target to EUR 21 from EUR 27, reiterating buy.
KLOECKNER Up EUR 2.19 to EUR 34.60... Reports 2007 net profit of EUR 133.4m - down 35.3% y/y - on sales 13.4% higher at EUR 6.27bn and proposes dividend of EUR 0.80 per share for 2007.
FIERA DI MILANO Up EUR 1.43 to EUR 6.67... Milan to host 2015 Expo - Co.'s shares rally after the announcement that the city of Milan will host the 2015 Universal Exposition.
A2A Down EUR 0.01 to EUR 2.32... Sees 2012 EBITDA at EUR 1.6bn - Co. has said during its business plan presentation that sees 2012 EBITDA of EUR 1.6bn while synergies from the merger should be at EUR 110m.
HEINEKEN Up EUR 0.66 to EUR 37.45... S & N shareholders approve takeover - Scottish & Newcastle shareholders approve a GBP10bn takeover by Co. and Carlsberg. S&N's businesses in the UK and Ireland, Finland, Portugal, Belgium and India will go to Co. while the businesses in France, Greece, Russia, China and Vietnam will go to Carlsberg.
NOKIA Up EUR 1.46 to EUR 21.50... Tightens grip on boom in emerging markets - Falling demand for expensive mobile phones on the back of the global market turmoil, has generally been offset by an accelerating mobile phone boom in Asia's and Africa's emerging markets, according to Strategy Analytics Reuters reports. Struggling rival Motorola, with its handset division up for sale, is forecast to continue to lose market share to Co. and to Korean LG Electronics and Samsung Electronics. Due to Co.'s dominant position in the emerging markets and its production of cheap models, Co. is able to sustain its advantage. In January-March handset makers sold 283m units, a 10% increase y/y, however correlating to a 15% fall vs 4Q.
STORA ENSO Up EUR 0.62 to EUR 7.93... Deutsche Bank ups to buy vs hold, keeps TP at ERU 9.50. Says its revised outlook calls for a more optimistic view on magazine papers and coated fine papers, key product areas for Co.'s and UPM's earnings turnaround. Notes, many challenges are yet to be overcome, but DB expects earnings to trough in 08.
DNO Down NOK0.68 to NOK8.41... Expects to beat 1Q production target - Co., holding an EGM this week, gained 17.8% yesterday as investors anticipates positive announcements from the meeting on Thursday, Reuters said. Co. today announces that accumulated net production in February 2008 came in at 0.52m barrels, or 17,760 bopd, up 2% m/m. As a result of the reviewed Production Sharing Contract (PSC) terms, effective from 14 March 2008, Co. will receive 60% of the Tawke production going forward (net of 10 % royalty).
FORTUM Up EUR 0.90 to EUR 26.71... S&P Eq Res initiates with strong buy - Set TP at EUR 25.97, reflecting Co.'s low CO2 intensity generation portfolio and its investment programme, the firm says. Points out that in February 2008 Co. announced its intention to acquire TGC-10 for EUR 2.7bn in a deal it expects would be marginally earnings dilutive for two years but strengthen its strategic position in the increasingly liberalised Russian power market. S&P Equity Research believes medium-term value would be created through volume growth, rising prices, cost savings and new capacity.
INDITEX Up EUR 2.39 to EUR 37.58... Brokers upbeat after FY results - Deutsche Bank lifts target to EUR 35.50 from EUR 35, hold. UBS lifts target to EUR 39 from EUR 36, neutral. Notes in line FY EBIT and upbeat outlook, though ads trends weakened in 4Q. Citigroup lowers target to EUR 45 from EUR 54, buy. Says target cut reflects recent equity market weakness. Goldman Sachs raises current year EPS estimate to EUR 2.28 from EUR 2.19 but cuts next year to EUR 2.59 from EUR 2.60.
TELEFONICA Up EUR 0.72 to EUR 18.92... BBVA holds 6.258% / ADSL prices - BBVA ended 2007 with a 6.258% stake in Co., according to El Pais. The paper says that BBVA considers its core holding in Co. to be 5.5%, but the percentage changes due to client operations. The CMT (Spanish telecoms regulator) has cut by 86% the prices charged by Co. to rivals for ADSL, Cinco Dias reports. However, the paper adds this is still 37.5% above the costs of the ex-monopoly.
UBS Up CHF3.54 to CHF32.40... Ospel to leave after CHF12bn 1Q loss (update) - Co. tables a 1Q loss of CHF12bn and has a fully underwritten rights issue of approximately CHF15bn to strengthen Tier 1 capital. Posts losses and write-downs of approximately US$19bn on US real estate and related structured credit positions. Marcel Ospel, Chairman of the Board, has decided to withdraw his candidacy for re-election to the Board at the AGM on 23 April. The Board proposes that the AGM elect Peter Kurer to the Board to succeed Ospel. Co. will create a separate unit to manage selected US real estate related positions. CEO Marcel Rohner said in a teleconference that UBS will likely want to reduce its holding in this vehicle in the future, possibly through a spin-off to investors. Commenting on today's actions, JP Morgan says this paves the way for the market to refocus from 'UBS capital at risk' to 'UBS long-term cash flow generation'. Keeps at overweight.